A Love Letter of Sorts

Who knows how old I was when I heard the neighbors complaining to my parents about how there just wasn't time to paint the trim on their house. My parents were sympathetic.  I was not. Of course you have time, I wanted to say. You could be doing it right now. Fortunately, I wasn't bold enough to actually say such things. I'm guessing this was probably the same weird period in my life, after learning of my own mortality, that I was very concerned about wasting time. This worry manifest itself in a compulsion to read, not for reading sake, but as proof that I wasn't wasting my limited time on earth.  It got so bad that my mom, a professional reading specialist who at one point paid me to read books because she was concerned about my slow progress, begged me to put my book away while she was driving so that we could have a conversation for a change.

Fortunately, this period did not last too long and I was back to wasting time in high school, hanging out with friends everyday after school, to the point where my mom, who wanted me home, said that if I really wanted to be an artist I better stop spending so much time hanging around my friends and get to work.  (This was probably one of those things that popped out of her mouth, a throw away comment that stuck fast to my brain and never let go. It gives me great pause as a parent every time something pops out of my mouth.  My god, I think.  They are going to remember that forever.)

You know you're an artist when certain people look at what you've been up to and say, "Well you certainly have a lot of time on your hands." Which was exactly what A.'s Peace Corps supervisor said when he saw the wall of wire sculptures I had hung in our El Estor house.  How true it was!  I had no job.  I had no prospects.  In the mornings, I lay in a hammock, reading and writing and daydreaming. In the afternoons, I made wire sculptures. In the evenings, I walked around town with A., trying to pick up a new phrase or two in Spanish. Sometimes we went to see a Jean Claude Van Damme film at the movie house.  I called it grad school.

Having kids gave my reputation a boost.  I was now a Mom. No longer was my art frowned upon as evidence that I had "too much time on my hands."  Rather, it shocked and amazed, not for the quality, mind you, but simply for the sheer output.  How do you possibly find time for it? was the new question. And that's where time gets funny.  It is not so much a thing that contains us, but a choice we make, a choice about how we want to live out lives.  Here's the choice I make everyday.  There are lots of things that don't get done.  Just ask my husband.  But through it all, despite all the husband bashing, A. has been silently and solidly supportive.  He never questions how I choose to spend my time, though he does occasionally present me with a "challenge," to fold the laundry by Friday, for example.  It is a testament of his acceptance and good nature that I am able to have time, even with three kids, to do what some people might consider a grand waste of time.


  1. Resist the urge "to do those things" -- you'll never regret it....and keep on creating (and inspiring)!
    Grandpa John

  2. I'll be sure to let the lad know of your advice! Thanks Grandpa John.